Grassroots International

Maria Aguiar, Author at Grassroots International | Page 2 of 2

  • Full Tanks at the Cost of Empty Stomachs:The Expansion of the Sugarcane Industry in Latin America

    During the last week of February 2007, Grassroots International's partner Rede Social or Social Justice Network of Brazil hosted a Latin American conference on the expansion of the intensive cultivation of sugar cane for biofuel throughout Latin America. Rede hosted delegates from various countries where sugar cane monocultivation is expanding as demand for bio fuels grows. Read the final declaration from the Latin American groups represented:

  • Via Campesina Brazil’s Women Are for Food Sovereignty and against Agribusiness

    Today, March 6th, Grassroots International received an announcement from the Via Campesina Brazil. The women of the Via Campesina Brazil are honoring International Women's Day by organizing land occupations and protests against large Brazilian and transnational corporations who own and exploit huge tracts of Brazilian land and labor for monocultured cultivation of trees for cellulose for export. The women refer to these huge tracts of land planted only with such trees as the "green deserts" of Brazil - green deserts because they produce no food and very little employment, and are also environmentally damaging. Please read the announcement of our partners below:

  • Day of the Dead in Oaxaca – October 31st

    Today is the first day of the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca. The Oaxacan Day of the Dead ceremonies are a well known celebratory rite, rooted in indigenous culture and tradition. Entire families go to the local cemetery bringing food and dance, flowers and light, sweets and song to celebrate with their ancestors. This year, many Oaxacans will not only honor and feed their ancestors, but also their friends, fellow workers and neighbors who have recently fallen at the hands of hired guns, some of them off-duty police, put into action by governor Ulisses Ruiz to terrorize and provoke violent reactions among peaceful demonstrators seeking social justice and reform of the corrupt state government, which remains under the control of the PRI (Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, which maintained control over the country for more than 70 years under a series of different names).

  • Elections in Haiti: One Small Step Toward Democracy

    Grassroots International applauds the relatively peaceful manner in which Haiti's elections were carried out on February 7th. The long lines of people, determined to vote, who waited more than eight hours for their turn at the polls are a sign of the hunger of Haitians for meaningful democratic participation. We believe that the elections in Haiti as an important step on the road to democracy and one of the only ways for Haiti to move forward out of the current political impasse.

    We are pleased to present to our readers this report prepared by the electoral observers from the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) in Haiti (a member of Grassroots partner, POHDH–Haitian Human Rights Platform) summarizing their first hand observations with regard to yesterday's elections.

  • Highlights of the 2nd Social Forum of the Americas

    Recuerdos de la tierra Bolivariana! Memories from the land of Simón Bolívar!

    We made our way from the Maiquetia airport by way of a 3 hour bus ride on winding roads through the Venezuelan Andes and arrived in Caracas on Monday evening - only 16 hours after leaving Boston! The excitement of the Social Forum of the Americas could already be felt on the streets of Caracas. Thousand of people had begun arriving from distant corners of South, Central and North America and even some from Europe. Some came by air, but many more came by bus, traveling many miles and many hours to be able to participate in this incredible gathering of people from urban and rural community organizations, social movements — including networks working on trade issues, small farmers and landless workers, indigenous peoples, industrial and service workers, women, youth and students, housing and homeless groups.

  • Haitian Youth Speak Out

    May 1st - International Workers Day was honored in many locations throughout Haiti. Thousands gathered in Port au Prince at the Champs de Mars, and almost a thousand gathered at the national training center of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay ( MPP) in Papay. All were present to celebrate but also to raise their voices and tell their transitional government, as well as the international community, about their hopes - about their needs - and what they are no longer willing to tolerate.

  • Another Countryside Is Possible

    Satellite internet on a mountainside in the heart of Haiti's Central Plateau - only one of the achievements, among many, of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay - The Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP). The oldest and best organized of Haiti's peasant organizations, the MPP, is celebrating International Worker's Day tomorrow with a large agricultural fair drawing peasants from various regional associations to celebrate and demonstrate what can be done when peasants put their heads together.

  • Ni Rire, Ni Pleurer, Comprendre.

    During the brief day and a half since I arrived in Ayiti I have had 9 meetings with representatives of GRI partner organizations, journalists, and allied international development organizations.

    My head is spinning, but the richness of these exchanges with these tireless Haitian human rights and development activists is a necessary ingredient for understanding how progressive Haitians are living this difficult period of transition. While at the office of Institute Culturelle Karl Leveque, a member organization of POHDH ( The Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations) I happened to see the quotation that I used to entitle this journal entry - "ni rire, ni pleurer, comprendre" - loosely translated - "we must not celebrate, we must not cry , we must understand".